URGENT: Support CRPD, Deaf-Friendly “Disability Treaty”

Posted on 30 October 2013. Filed under: Advocacy, Announcements, Call to Action, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (, CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabili, Deaf Community, Disability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

URGENT: Support CRPD, Deaf-Friendly “Disability Treaty”

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

The marathon battle for the U.S. ratification of the deaf-friendly “Disability Treaty” may soon have its end in sight. But only if thousands of supporters across the country take action now! That means YOU!

What can you do?

  1. MAKE CALLS!! We need everyone to call and email Senators as often as you can. Tell them over and over to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)! Don’t stop until they ratify! 

    The CRPD Action Center at http://disabilitytreaty.org offers tools that can help you communicate with Senators. This includes a template email and a script for phone calls. The same site has a FAQ on the CPRD.Every call really does matter. Set up phone banks for your dorms, organizations or classes. Hold events where everyone calls together!

    In addition to your own Senators, you also can call Senator Menendez and Senator Corker. As Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, they represent all Americans.

  2. Sign and disseminate the petitions! Youth below age 30 can sign a petition for young people at http://bit.ly/Youth4CRPD. People of all ages can sign another petition at http://disabilitytreaty.org. Every signature really does matter!!
  3. The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled two hearings on the CRPD for November 5 and 12, 2013. WE NEED YOU TO COME. Bring your friends, family, and classmates. Help us FILL THE ROOM. Show the Senators your support. Monitor http://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/ for forthcoming details on time and location.

Facts to Remember:

  • The CRPD is the first international treaty to recognize the inclusion of sign language and deaf culture in society.
  • More than 700 disability, veterans, faith, business, and humanitarian organizations support CRPD ratification. These include the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Gallaudet University, and the U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD).
  • More materials on the CRPD for the Deaf, deaf, and hard of hearing communities are available at http://bit.ly/DeafCRPD

Last year, we lost by only 5 votes. This may be our last chance for a long time. Please help us succeed this year!

Please let us know what you are doing! Any questions? Contact: Andrea Shettle at ashettle@usicd.org, video phone 202-540-8812. Other questions on the CRPD campaign can be directed to Eileen Magan at emagan@usicd.org.

Please circulate this text freely to all U.S. deaf and hard of hearing community members, their friends, loved ones, and allies. Reblog or copy/paste the text into email, Facebook, etc.

If you have a website, put the logo below on your website and link it to http://disabilitytreaty.org

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Support US Ratification of #CRPD #Disability Treaty!

Posted on 3 June 2013. Filed under: Advocacy, Announcements, Call to Action, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (, CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabili, Disability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

CRPD_StickerIf you care about social justice, equality, and human rights for all people … if you are  an American veteran or a person with disabilities or love someone who is …  then please take action in the campaign for US ratification of the disability treaty.  Ask your US senators to vote YES to ratify the CRPD Disability Treaty in 2013.

This may sound like something that shouldn’t need your help.  Because, who would be against people with disabilities? But we lost our first attempt to get the CRPD ratified in the US in December 2012 due to a campaign of mis-information from opponents. And the opponents have not stopped. We cannot allow this defeat to happen again. The disability, veterans, faith, business, and social justice communities have come back in 2013.  More than 500 organizations across the US are working hard on US ratification of the CRPD.  But we need your help in talking with your senators to make it happen.

The slide show below gives a brief overview of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, also known as the “disability treaty”).  It covers:

  • What the CRPD is,
  • Why it matters to people with disabilities around the world,
  • Why US ratification is important even though we already have the Americans with Disabilities Act, and
  • Simple actions that people can take to help.

Also visit a great website that has more extensive materials on the CRPD disability treaty and the campaign for US ratification at http://www.disabilitytreaty.org. This includes materials and resources for advocates, such as fact sheets that expose some of the myths and mis-information being disseminated by treaty opponents.

If you have 48 minutes to spare to learn more about the CRPD and the history of the campaign for US ratification, watch this great new webinar video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4LHXZyHERU&feature=youtu.be. Yes, it has captions for deaf and hard of hearing people (and others who need them).

Lead Disability OrgsRebecca Berman AAPD's CRPD Yes! Pix Dec 3

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CRPD Final Vote in US Senate Tuesday. Take Action Early and OFTEN.

Posted on 1 December 2012. Filed under: Advocacy, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (, CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabili, Disability | Tags: , , , , , |

UPDATE January 15, 2013: Yes, we lost the vote in December. NO, the fight is NOT OVER.  The senate WILL have another vote on the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2013!  Don’t allow the opposition to use their continuing lies to defeat us a second time–make sure your senators know you strongly support their “yes” vote on the CRPD.

Call, email, write, tweet to, or visit the offices of your senators early and OFTEN.  (Senators have short attention spans 🙂 )  Find more info on the US CRPD ratification campaign and what to tell senators; find contact information for your senators at senate.gov.

Individuals can sign a petition in support of the CRPD here.

If you are authorized to sign on to a letter in behalf of your organization can sign on to a letter supporting the CRPD for your organization here.

——————-Original Post from December 1 follows below——————————–

CRPD FINAL VOTE  U.S. Senate, TUESDAY at 12 o’clock EST

EMAIL, FAX, and DROP OFF the new CRPD handout in MASSES.  Get it to the PRESS in your town and state.

Link to CRPD Handout:
http://usicd.org//doc/SupportheCRPD%20AD.pdf

Find your Senator’s contact here!
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121

Please act quickly and do your part to make this a WIN for the disability community around the world.  Let’s not look back and think of what we should have done but what we DID do!

Time is running out.  This Tuesday, December 4th at 12PM the CRPD with be voted on.

We have all worked years to come to this point.  Over 300 disability and veterans organizations and thousands of disability advocates have weighed in and worked tirelessly to get a vote on the CRPD in the Senate.  But a small and LOUD opposition led by Rick Santorum and the Tea Party is using their misinformation to take the votes that we have all worked so hard to secure. The Senators opposed to our treaty have agreed to a vote without amendments – because they think the disability community will NOT win.

We are DOWN the votes we need but the disability community SHOULD NOT AND DOES NOT GIVE UP!

Can we count on you? Will your Senators be a “YES” vote? We need 67 VOTES to win and this will be a VERY close vote. WE NEED YOUR STATE!

At this point only an ACTION by you in your STATE will get us a positive REACTION in the Senate.  Make your support known in the press, in the media, in your Senator’s offices.  Call, Tweet with #CRPD, sit in, whatever works for you BUT doing nothing will not get us anything.

We need action all weekend and on Monday, the International Day of People with Disabilities.

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Five Ways to Support the CRPD Ratification Campaign!

Posted on 14 November 2012. Filed under: Advocacy, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (, CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabili, Disability, International | Tags: , , , , , |

UPDATE: Yes, the fight is still on to ratify the CRPD in 2013!

1. Educate yourself about the CRPD!

  • The acronym CRPD stands for “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. It is an international treaty defending the human rights of people with disabilities ratified by 127 countries—but not the US.  We’re working to fix that!
  • Learn the basics via a FAQ on the CRPD and this video (yes, with subtitles).  For more intensive learning, find more CRPD resources 
  • Keep up with the news at USICD’s CRPD updates page Follow @USICD in Twitter  and in Facebook
  • If you are a college or university student, follow @AdvocatEquality in twitter and visit Students4CRPD.

2. Talk to Senators!

  • Sign on to the open letter from individual citizens to US senators!
  • Visit http://www.senate.gov to find the website for each of your two senators. The website will have their contact information.  Email them, call them, tweet them, or leave messages at their Facebook page!  In twitter, use the hashtag #CRPD
  • Your message for senators: “I am a person with disabilities–please ratify the CRPD in 2012! This is an important issue for the disability community!”  If desired, you can say what your disabilities are.  Or say that you know someone with disabilities, or that you are a US veteran, etc.  Visit USICD’s website for more sample CRPD messages for senators.

3. Lend your Face!

  • Let senators see the many faces of people who support the CRPD!  Take a picture of you holding your own homemade sign supporting the CRPD.  Individuals, couples, or groups are all welcome!  Look at more pictures for ideas.
  • You can make your sign with poster board or a blank piece of paper. Use magic markers, or your printer.
  • Send the picture to Susie Richard srichard@usicd.org at USICD for their growing collection!  Ask your friends and relatives to contribute pictures also!
  • If you have Twitter, you can tweet pictures to senators with the #CRPD hashtag.

Picture of a woman holding a handmade sign with "CRPD" and "support" written and drawn in American Sign Language, the phrase "human rights" and a drawing of the globe  Picture of an older man and woman holding a sign printed from a computer saying "parents of children with disabilities support US ratification of the CRPD"  Picture of 17 people at the Vermont Center for Independent Living holding signs that together say "CRPD"  A woman seated in a wheelchair poses with four papers that together say "CRPD" (holds C and R in her hands, rests P and D on her legs)

4. Recruit your Friends and Family!

  • Educate your friends and family about the CRPD.  Ask them to call, email, or tweet their senators–and contribute pictures!
  • Follow @USICD in Twitter and re-tweet them often.  “Share” the USICD Facebook page with your friends.  Link to this post from your blog or website.
  • Are you a university student or faculty member? Consider creating a chapter of  Students4CRPD on YOUR campus!

5. What Can YOUR Organization Do?

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Lend YOUR Face to Support the US CRPD Ratification Effort!

Posted on 24 October 2012. Filed under: Advocacy, Announcements, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (, CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabili, Disability, International | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

What is the CRPD?

CRPD stands for Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first international treaty to address the human rights needs of people with disabilities.  We lost the first CRPD vote in 2012 because the opposition spread lies and misinformation.  Don’t let us lose again in 2014.  Senator Reid could schedule a new floor vote on the CRPD at any time that the Senate is in session.

First, Tell both of your senators that you want them to ratify the CRPD.  

The second thing you can do is: Lend your face!

How Do I “Lend My Face”?

  • Catch the attention of senators with a picture of YOU!  Pose for the picture with your own homemade sign supporting the CRPD.  Your sign can briefly explain why the CRPD matters to you.
  • Email your picture to Andrea Shettle at USICD (ashettle@usicd.org) and she can Tweet it for you.  Tell Andrea what state you are from so she knows which Senators to address for you!
  • Or if you prefer to Tweet or Facebook the picture yourself:
    • Use the hash tag #CRPD in your message
    • Use the message to ask your followers to take action to support the “Disability Treaty” at http://disabilitytreaty.org!
    • Address the message to your Senators! Find their Twitter handle and Facebook page at http://bit.ly/ReachSenators
    • Need ideas for a message to accompany your picture?  Click on some of the pictures below to see what message people tweeted with their picture!  Always include the #CRPD hash tag AND the http://disabilitytreaty.org web link.  

Find more ideas for how to help in the Disability Treaty Action Handout.

Via @SenatorHarkin with other senators supporting CRPD 3Dec'12Yoshiko Rhonda Jesse & othersRachael Patterson @racheljpat.jpg-largeSen Reid staff watch Sen Harkin support CRPDPix via @TheRAC students lobbying Sen Franklin staff re CRPD 10Dec'12Harkin with the gangCRPD Supporters visit Sen Heller via @kmusheno Kim MushenoCRPD pix from @Jawonio 27Nov'12AAPD tweets pix of bipartisan support of CRPD press confWoman at Gallaudet holds orange sign saying "Give back our independence" asking senators to ratify CRPD  A man at Gallaudet holds a purple sign and an orange sign, both asking senators to vote yes on the CRPD   Five   A picture of a woman in an orange shirt holding a sign that says "Ratify the CRPD in the 112th!"   A woman at the Gallaudet University student center holds an orange sign that says "I support CRPD!" while making the ASL sign for "I love you"   A picture of an infant near a window playing. Black text overlays the picture with a letter to the two senators of Minnesota urging them to ratify the CRPD.  Man at Gallaudet holding a green sign that says "I support CRPD, Ratify this!"   A Deaf woman at Gallaudet holds an orange sign saying "Please support CRPD!"     A picture of a man and a woman holding a sign telling senators that parents of children with disabilities support the CRPD  A man at Gallaudet University holds a blue sign asking senators to ratify the CRPD   Representatives of USICD, NFB, and DREDF post with six signs that, together, say "Vote Yes CRPD"   A man at Gallaudet University holds a purple sign asking Senator Robert to vote yes on the CRPD  A seated woman smiles at camera while displaying four signs that together say "CRPD" (she holds two signs up while the other two rest on her legs)    A woman in a yellow shirt holds a green sign that says "I support CRPD Ratify this!"   A woman holds up a printed sign saying, "Simple explanation: Disability rights = human rights! I SUPPORT the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities #CRPD"!  Picture of a woman with crutches holding a sign asking her two senators in Maryland to ratify the CRPD     Woman stands at a table with literature on the CRPD and a sign saying "Be a Hero! Support CRPD Ratification!"  Four pictures of a woman posing with a sign asking senators to support the CRPD--in each picture she finger spells one of the letters in the acronym CRPD Picture of a woman with a sign written in both English and drawings of ASL signs asking senators to support human rights and CRPD ratification  A picture of 17 people (and two service dogs) posing in front of a brick building.  Four signs put together say "CRPD", and there is also a blue sign that says "VCIL supports ratification of the CRPD"   A woman holds an orange sign that says "Lets lead the world in important human rights issues! Ratify the CRPD!"   Picture of a woman holding a sign that says "Pass the CRPD"   Woman holding a sign that says "@Senate_GOPs & @SenateDems: Listen up! This #Deaf American wants the US to ratify the CRPD in 2012!"

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Engaging with Obama’s Administration as a Deaf Woman with Disabilities

Posted on 20 January 2009. Filed under: Email Obama! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

President Barack Obama’s WhiteHouse.gov page is now up and running. They have an Office of Public Liaison whose intent is to facilitate communication and engagement between Obama’s administration and the American public. I’ve already been making use of their form for emailing comments to the Obama administration Office of Public Liaison. (Note that each message is limited to 500 characters, including spaces and punctuation.)

These are some messages I have sent to them just this afternoon:

“Please designate one specific individual to be the liaison between Obama’s administration and Americans with disabilities. I voted for Obama because he was the only candidate to offer a truly comprehensive disability platform, including a pledge to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As a woman with multiple disabilities, I want to continue to feel engaged with the political process. Having a direct contact on disability issues is essential to this engagement.”

“One of Obama’s most important campaign promises to people with disabilities was to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and encourage the US Senate to ratify it. The ratification and implementation of the CRPD is important to strengthening the protection of some key human rights not currently covered in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please ask Obama to start this process as swiftly as humanly possible.”

“Half of US jobs are provided by SMALL businesses and non-profits (fewer than 15 employees) not covered by the ADA. As a deaf person, I need expensive s.l. interpreters in order to do certain functions such as attending office meetings or training. This excludes me from half of the potential employment opportunities, even in cases where most of my work would not require accommodation. How does Obama plan to expand employment opportunities in SMALL offices for employees with disabilities?”

“I look to Obama to take a clear stand against torture as a profound violation of American ideals. Americans committing torture should be persecuted with rigor. Key decision makers who encouraged it or looked the other way MUST NOT escape accountability. Steps should also be taken to stop the perpetuation of conditions that encourage torture in the first place. Consult with Philip Zimbardo in planning this preventative process http://www.lucifereffect.com”

“Obama has pledged to improve the quality of education for children with disabilities. For Deaf children, this cannot happen without FULL communication access through American Sign Language. Yet many Deaf children are either in deaf schools where teachers are incompetent signers, or else they are integrated with incompetent sign language interpreters. Americans would not tolerate a majority of public education being conducted in ungrammatical, incomprehensible English. Why tolerate it for Deaf?”

“Please be sure that President Obama understands how much profound meaning it has to Americans with disabilities that he does sometimes remember to mention us, even if only in passing, in some of his speeches, including his election night speech and his speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial this weekend. I posted a letter about how I felt at tinyurl.com/5cfhc6 — since then, many people with disabilities from across the US and around the world have told me they shared my sentiments.”

“The US and other OECD countries pledged 0.7% of its GNI to foreign assistance for fighting poverty, disease, & ignorance. The US has miserably failed to meet this promise. The current global economic crisis demonstrates that the fate of all nations are closely intertwined: we simply cannot separate ourselves from developing countries. Increased stability in Africa could ultimately help us as well. This makes foreign assistance more important, not less, in the current economic crisis.”

send your own comments to the Obama administration Office of Public Liaison

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Obama: Including Deaf People with Disabilities

Posted on 20 January 2009. Filed under: CRPD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabili, Email Obama! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Tradução portuguesa

I originally posted this letter on November 5, when President Barack Obama had been elected fewer than 24 hours earlier. Now that he has been inaugurated, I thought it would be appropriate to post it again.

Dear President Elect Barack Obama:

I wanted to convey a heartfelt THANK YOU to President elect Obama for making an entire class of excluded citizens visible in his acceptance speech last night: people with disabilities. THANK YOU for including the word “disabled” in your acceptance speech last night.

I am a Deaf US citizen who also has attention deficit disorder and a mild foot problem. So I, too, am an American with disabilities. This is the first time I can recall feeling included in a political campaign as a person with disabilities.

Historically, people with disabilities have been pushed to the margins, confined to our homes–or worse, to institutions. This was partly because of who we are and partly because people simply did not prioritize our inclusion, even when it would be simple to do so. Then, because we were not allowed to be in the mainstream of society, people didn’t see us–and thus assumed we do not exist. So the issues and concerns with the most profound impact on our lives, our most basic freedoms, and even our day to day survival have been historically assumed to not matter.

We are among the largest minority groups in this country–the World Health Organization estimates we comprise about 10% of the population. Yet people don’t see us in their streets, in their homes, in their offices, in the policies that they draft, in the programs they run, or in their lives. In American society, and around the world, we are consistently “invisibilized.” Most politicians, most of the time, don’t even mention us the way Obama did last night. We are so consistently excluded that even tokenism would be a step forward for us.

I voted for Obama yesterday morning for many reasons. But one important motivation for me was that he was the only candidate to provide a truly comprehensive disability rights platform (PDF format, 62 Kb, 8 pages). It is particularly unique and impressive in that it is one of the few acknowledgments by a politician that disability issues are not confined to social protection programs, or to services for veterans disabled in war, or to education services for so-called “special needs” children.

All of these are important concerns also, but Obama’s platform is a rare recognition that people with disabilities are not a monolithic group. Social protection programs are not the start and end of our needs; we are not all veterans; and we are not all children. We are mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, friends and confidantes, co-workers and professional colleagues, spouses and partners, neighbors, and even professional and athletic rivals. We are everyone. And our needs are, correspondingly, as complex as the needs of everyone else.

Above all, as with any other marginalized minority group, our needs include the need for human rights protections. This makes it particularly noteworthy that Obama was the only candidate to pledge to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and encourage the Senate to ratify it.

Yet: when Obama referred to “disabled” (and non-disabled) people in his speech last night, I stopped breathing. Even with his disability platform in mind, I had not been prepared for this moment. Suddenly, one of the most overlooked group of Americans was acknowledged as a force in our own right. Suddenly, I felt visible.

I had to stop writing this letter twice because I kept stopping to weep. How powerful a thing it is, simply to be validated. Simply to have a president elect of the country acknowledge that we exist. How powerful a thing it is, to have a president elect of the country acknowledge us, not as a special class apart, but as a part of the mainstream of society. Exactly as we should be. Exactly where we belong.

Mr. Obama, you can expect more letters from me in the years to come. I am a person with many opinions and am not afraid to express them. In particular, I will be calling upon you to follow through on your pledge to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). You can bet I will be calling you to account on your promises to Americans with disabilities!

But for now, just for today–thank you. Thank you for referring to Americans with disabilities in your acceptance speech on the evening of November 4, 2008. Just, thank you–for acknowledging us and for including us. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Ms. Andrea Shettle, MSW

This is an open letter to Barack Obama. I hope other Deaf people, and people with disabilities in general, will join me in reaching out to Obama from across the US and around the world. Thank him for including us in his remarks on election night. And remind him of his campaign promises to Americans with disabilities (Follow the link to download the 8-page, 62 Kb PDF file.

Even if you didn’t vote for Obama–if you are in the US, he will be your president too. Democrats and Republicans may disagree with each other on a great many things, including who would have been a better president for Americans with disabilities. But I think we also have many concerns in common that are well worth crossing the ideological divide. No matter who we voted for, let’s work together to ensure that we are increasingly included, and increasingly visible, in the mainstream of American politics and policies and public life. Let’s work together to ensure that we are included in the mainstream of society, full stop.

If you’re interested specifically in the CRPD–the first international, legally-binding human rights treaty to protect a wide range of human rights for people with disabilities around the world–check out RatifyNow.org. Ratification of the CRPD is very much consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), with the bonus that it could help expand human rights protections into areas not currently covered in the ADA.

Obama’s administration can be contacted via his new Office of Public Liaison.

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Obama for People with Disabilities, Deaf People

Posted on 17 November 2008. Filed under: Advocacy, Email Obama! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[People who wish to communicate with the Obama administration should PLEASE CONTACT THEM DIRECTLY. I am NOT able to pass along your emails to the Obama administration. You can contact the White House at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/. Or you may prefer to contact the White House Office of Public Liaison, which in their own words is “the front door to the White House through which everyone can participate and inform the work of the President,” at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/opl/]

US President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden say the United States “should lead the world” in helping Deaf people and people with disabilities to “take full advantage of their talents and become independent, integrated members of society.” Obama has promised to make the United States a signatory to the UN
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and will urge U.S. Senate to ratify the Convention as soon as possible.

Obama offers a four-part plan for improving opportunities for Deaf people and people with disabilities in the United States:

(1) Providing Americans with disabilities the educational opportunities they need to succeed.

(2) Ending discrimination and promoting equal opportunity.

(3) Increasing the employment rate of workers with disabilities.

(4) Supporting independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities.

Obama says he and his administration will “work closely with individuals with disabilities and disability rights advocates to achieve this vision…”

Read more about Obama’s plan at http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/disabilities/

What can YOU do to help make this plan come true? Politicians are usually more quick to follow through on their promises when they know that people across their country–and throughout other countries of the world–are watching them. Please send emails to Obama’s team: ask Obama to move quickly to meet all of his promises to people with disabilities. Which promise do you care about the most? Jobs for people with disabilities? Signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities? Better-quality education? Independent living in the community? Tell Obama why it matters so much to you.

Send emails on Deaf- or disability-related issues to Kareem Dale, Obama’s National Disability Vote Director (at kdale@barackobama.com), WITH COPIES TO Anne Hayes, a volunteer on the Obama Disability Policy Committee (at ahayesku@hotmail.com).

If you wish, you may learn more detail about the national and global email-writing campaign by viewing the short slide show below (click on the right arrow to advance to the next screen). You also may download the slide show for yourself (106 Kb), or read most of the same text on-line at http://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/disabilities-email-obama/

After you send your own email to Obama, please also encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same.

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Emails to Obama! Creating Change for People with Disabilities!

Posted on 13 November 2008. Filed under: Advocacy, Email Obama! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[People who wish to communicate with the Obama administration should PLEASE CONTACT THEM DIRECTLY. I am NOT able to pass along your emails to the Obama administration. You can contact the White House at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/. Or you may prefer to contact the White House Office of Public Liaison, which in their own words is “the front door to the White House through which everyone can participate and inform the work of the President,” at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/opl/]

Politicians are more quick to do as they promise when they know the world is watching them. That’s why it’s important for people with disabilities, Deaf people, our loved ones, colleagues, and other allies SEND EMAILS TO OBAMA! Let him know that we are aware of the promises Obama has made to people with disabilities! I have linked to several letters to Obama below in the hope of inspiring others to write letters of their own.

Letters to Obama
The disability community of Kosovo congratulates Obama and urges him to support disability rights internationally as well as domestically: http://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/kosovo-obama-disability/

A Deaf woman with attention deficit disorder in the US writes about how she felt when Obama mentioned people with disabilities in his election night speech–and what she hopes he will do next: https://reunifygally.wordpress.com/2008/11/05/thank_you_obama_disabilities/

A disabled person’s organization in Bangladesh sent this letter of congratulations: http://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/bpks-congratulates-obama/

An international disability activist from Uganda thanks the people of the United States for choosing Obama: http://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/11/uganda-thanks-us-for-obam/

Take Action!
1. Please send your own emails to Obama! Send your emails to Kareem Dale, Obama’s National Disability Vote Director (at kdale@barackobama.com), WITH COPIES TO Anne Hayes, a volunteer on the Obama Disability Policy Committee (at ahayesku@hotmail.com). Congratulate Obama; thank him for mentioning people with disabilities in his election night speech; then remind him of his promises to people with disabilities. He promised to increase educational opportunities; end discrimination; increase employment opportunities; and support independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities. And he promised to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the first international, legally-binding human rights treaty for people with disabilities.

2. Read more about the Call to Action that explains how and why people in the Deaf and disability communities should email Obama, and how people can educate themselves about Obama’s promises to people with disabilities. At http://wecando.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/disabilities-email-obama/ Or, most of the same text is also available in the slide show provided further below in this post (click on the arrows to advance through the show).

3. Spread the word! Please ask your friends and other people you know to write their own emails to Obama. Feel free to copy/paste the Call to Action into your blog, Facebook page, or email and circulate it. Or make a podcast or video to promote awareness of the email-writing campaign to Obama’s team and post it on-line. Or post the slideshow (below) at your blog.

4. Consider sharing your own letter to Obama as a way to help inspire others to write their own. Post the email that you sent to kdale@barackobama.com and ahayesku@hotmail.com in the comments area below for other people to see. If I like your letter, then I might also ask for permission to post it at this blog so it can attract a wider audience.

Of course, also let me know if you have blogged the email campaign–I’ll be happy to link to you.

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Read the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008 on the International Disability (and Deaf!) Rights Treaty!

Posted on 29 March 2008. Filed under: Advocacy, Announcements, Audism, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ( | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

No, none of the participating blog posts specifically focus on Deaf issues (sorry, ran out of time to write one), but several are still very much relevant for Deaf people who are fighting to protect their own human rights.


From Australia … from the USA … from India … from New Zealand … from Fiji … from the Philippines …

Writers and bloggers from around the world joined together to help celebrate and promote the first legally binding international human rights instrument to protect the rights of people with disabilities — the international disability rights treaty, called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

They celebrated by writing blog posts for the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008, which can now be read at
http://ratifynow.org/2008/03/29/ratifynow-crpd-blog-swarm-2008/

What did they write about? Some of the topics include …

… The story of one advocate who watched the birth of the CRPD among grassroots advocates with disabilities and others in the 1990s …
… How the CRPD could deliver new hope for people in India with mental disabilities …
… How the CRPD represents an evolution from the charity/medical model of disability to the social or human rights-based model …
… How the CRPD could make travel go a little more smoothly for tourists with disabilities …
… Why the CRPD matters for people who use personal assistance services or who are seeking the freedom to explore their own sexual expression …
… An allegorical tale about farmers, spoons, and plows: Why the CRPD is well worth celebrating and why our work isn’t done just because the CRPD is about to take full legal force …
… And more …

All at the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008, and all available by following the link to:

http://ratifynow.org/2008/03/29/ratifynow-crpd-blog-swarm-2008/

Celebrate and learn about the CRPD through the RatifyNow CRPD Blog Swarm 2008.

Then invite other people to do the same. Please circulate this notice or post it at your blog or web site — with, of course, a link to the blog swarm at

http://ratifynow.org/2008/03/29/ratifynow-crpd-blog-swarm-2008/

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